The three committees in the U.S. House of Representatives that share jurisdiction over health care are expected to release a bill today that will include a surcharge on high-income families to help finance health care reform. Based on the details that have been made public so far by the Ways and Means Committee, Citizens for Tax Justice has estimated the national and state-by-state impacts of the surcharge and incorporated this information into reports that are being released by several state-based organizations.
CTJ finds that the surcharge would be paid by the richest 1.3 percent of taxpayers nation-wide. The percentage of taxpayers impacted varies by state, but not by much. The state with the largest percentage of taxpayers affected is Connecticut, where 2.8 percent would pay the surcharge. The state with the lowest percentage of taxpayers affected is West Virginia, where only 0.5 percent of taxpayers would pay the surcharge.
You can find this analysis, as well as CTJ's other recent work on health care financing options, here: http://www.ctj.orgpayingforhealthcare.htm
CTJ is a member of the coalition of organizations called Rebuild and Renew America Now (RRAN), which has been working for several months to educate lawmakers and the public about progressive options for financing health care reform. Besides a surcharge, another option that RRAN has focused on is the President's proposal to limit itemized deductions for high-income families. Another is the proposal formulated by CTJ to reform the Medicare tax so that it applies to the income of wealthy investors the same way it applies to the wages and salaries of workers. CTJ's Medicare tax proposal has been a topic of discussion among some members of the Senate who are reported to be considering it as one of their revenue measures to finance health care reform.
Meanwhile, state-based organizations have released reports on these proposals in Indiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, West Virginia, Wisconsin and several other states last week and this week. This follows the release last week of a statement of principles signed by over 600 national, state and local organizations from every state in support of a progressive approach to financing health care reform and other major initiatives.